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Murder of Sheila Adhiambo Lumumba Sparks #JusticeForSheila

Sheila Adhiambo Lumumba, a 25-year-old Kenyan non-binary lesbian, was found murdered and naked in their bedroom in Karatina, north of Nairobi on April 17. A postmortem report conducted the next day at Karatina Sub-County Hospital and seen by Human Rights…
Sheila Adhiambo Lumumba
News

Football Associations, Players Should Call Out Abuses Ahead of World Cup

On March 31, as FIFA convened its 72nd Congress in Doha, one speaker took a brave stance on the uncomfortable truth about human rights in Qatar. Lise Klaveness, the Norwegian Football Association president, directly called out FIFA’s failure to…
A woman speaks at a podium labeled "FIFA"
News

LGBT Qataris at Risk Despite Gestures Toward Inclusion

As Qatar prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the government has assured prospective visitors it will welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) tourists and that fans will be free to fly the rainbow flag at the games. But for LGBT…
A general view of the Al Thumama Stadium is seen in Doha, Qatar, October 22, 2021. The stadium will be one of the venues for the 2022 World Cup.
News

Struggle for LGBT People’s Rights Will Not Be Silenced

I have never met Samuel, the gay Kenyan protagonist of the acclaimed documentary “I Am Samuel.” But I feel as if I know him. Not only does filmmaker Peter Murimi’s quiet, steady, honest portrayal of Samuel’s daily life create a sense of intimacy and…
“I Am Samuel” documentary, 2020
News

An Important Step Toward Ending Widespread Abuses Against Women

This week the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, the highest body recommending judicial appointments, will consider the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would become the first woman appointed to the court.…
Justice Ayesha Malik Supreme Court Pakistan
News

Societal Discrimination Compounds Health Risks

A high-ranking official in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, reassured the transgender community there that the government would support them during a province-wide lockdown due to COVID-19. Karachi commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani told…
Transgender people wearing face masks as a precaution against COVID-19 take selfies at a park in Peshawar, Pakistan, March 20, 2020.
News

The University’s Doha Campus Moves Mashrou’ Leila Talk, Citing Security Concerns

When brand-recognition universities, like Northwestern, Yale, or NYU, choose to expand their reach and build campuses in countries that don’t guarantee academic freedom, they can run into problems with repressive laws.  This…
A group of Lebanese activists chant slogans as they hold Arabic placards that read: "Freedom of expression," right, and "With Mashrou' Leila against the suppression of freedoms.
News

In Kuwait and Oman, Migrant Workers and Transgender Rights at Stake

The international football governing body, FIFA, is meeting this week to discuss expanding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to a second Gulf country to accommodate additional teams – with Kuwait or Oman as leading contenders, each hardly…
201903mena_qatar_worldcup_stadium_fifa
News

New Nationality Law Fails to Recognize Equal Treatment for Women, Their Children and Spouses

The Emir of Qatar recently signed a flurry of laws, including one allowing children and spouses of Qatari women married to non-Qataris to acquire permanent residence status. While a step forward, the law falls short because…
201809middleeast_qatar_women_children
News

Tahira Safdar’s Confirmation Would Be an Important Step for Equal Participation

Pakistan’s chief justice has nominated Justice Tahira Safdar as chief justice of the Balochistan High Court. If confirmed, she will become the first woman in Pakistan ever to hold this office. Pakistan remains the only…
Judge Tahira Safdar sits in court in Quetta, Pakistan, November 23, 2015.
News

Romania Should Rescind Discrimination Against Gay Spouse

Adrian Coman and Clai Hamilton finally have a chance to celebrate. The same-sex couple married in Belgium in 2010, but decided they wanted to live in Adrian’s native Romania (Clai is American). The kicker – Romania, which does not…
Members of Romania's gay community attend the GayFest Parade 2011 in Bucharest June 4, 2011.
News

Restrictions Discriminate Against and Isolate Muslim Women

On Thursday, Denmark became the latest in a string of European countries to ban the wearing of full-face coverings in public. Parliament voted overwhelmingly (75 to 30) to adopt legislation that will have a disproportionate impact on…
Women in niqab are pictured after the Danish Parliament banned the wearing of face veils in public, at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 31, 2018.
News

Investigate Slew of Attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The latest killing of a transgender woman in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) province exemplifies the government’s failure to take measures to protect the rights of its transgender citizens. On May 4, assailants fatally…
a member of the transgender community, applies make up as she prepares for Shakeela's party in Peshawar, Pakistan January 22, 2017.
News

Authorities Should Promote Equal Participation in Elections

For the first time in more than 40 years, women turned out in significant numbers to vote in one of Pakistan’s districts. The vote for local government in Upper Dir district of Pakistan’s northern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province…
A woman casts her ballot during elections for a new mayor in Karachi, Pakistan, December 5, 2015.
News

What Happens When a Government Does Not Recognize Your Same-Sex Marriage

For most married European citizens it is simple: the European Union generally allows non-EU spouses of citizens to live and work anywhere in its jurisdiction if they accompany their EU citizen partner. All you need to do is…
People walk behind the European Union's flag during the annual gay parade in Budapest July 5, 2008.
News

Tunisia and Kenya Move to Consign Discredited Medical Procedure to History Books

It’s shocking that in 2017 people are still subjected to forced anal testing to try to “prove” their sexual orientation. But Tunisia and Kenya are the latest countries to take steps toward ending these archaic and abusive exams,…
Poster by Shams, a Tunisian activist group, condemning the use of forced anal exams.
News

Lack of Female Voices as UK Negotiations With EU Begin

When I opened today’s newspaper, I recognized the photograph: another crucial negotiation, determining key questions of security and regional stability. Eleven negotiators sat at the table: five men on one side, five men and one woman…
Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis and his delegation sit across from European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier and his delegation at the start of their first day of talks at the European Commission in B
News

Local Parliament Calls for Federal Guarantee for Transgender Voting

The provincial assembly in a northwestern province of Pakistan this week unanimously passed a resolution calling on the federal government to ensure voting rights for transgender women. It is an important message of support for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (…
Transgender activists protest against the rape of two transgender women in Faisalabad.
News

Surge in Violence Should Prompt Authorities to Act

In a rare move of support for transgender people, this week Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights issued a forceful call for an investigation after an unidentified assailant violently attacked a transgender woman in Peshawar, the capital of…
Transgender activists protest against the rape of two transgender women in Faisalabad.
News
“I only read about LGBT people because I knew Human Rights Watch was coming to interview me,” a teacher in Tokyo told me last November while I was researching bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students in Japan’s schools. …
A 20 year old Japanese woman who was bullied by her classmates in junior high school holds a notebook displaying the message...
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